Claude von Trotha - Guitar, Vocals
CvT is a classically trained, multi-faceted musician, musical arranger, and audio engineer. You'll find him performing and recording his own projects, as well as contributing both musically and technically on many other musical ventures, live and in-studio. With a signature guitar sound utilizing funky rhythms and blazing soulful solos, combined with a bluesy, powerful voice, mixed in with the experience from performing in a variety of musical environments, plus a bit of comedy thrown in for good measure, the show never stops! A veteran of countless blues and R&B acts, including Rufus Thomas, Edwinn Starr, and others. Accolades include multiple OCMA nominations for Best Male artist and Best Blues artist.
Felix Pollard - Drums
The drive for the CvTB rhythm section starts with a drummer whose propulsive style and versatility have enabled him to play alongside some of the greatest musicians in the world. His roster includes Lionel Richie, Anastacia, Shelia E., George Duke, Chaka Kahn, Everlast, House of Pain, The Staple Singers, Jessica Simpson, Brian Culbertson, Phil Upchurch, Clay Aiken, the American Idol band, and a host of others. There is no doubt that Felix is one of the most sought after percussionists in the music industry.
Louis Van Taylor - Tenor Sax
Louis’ work with various types of saxophone, piccolo, flute, clarinet and other instruments can be heard on numerous television and movie soundtracks. His credits include performances with Kool & The Gang, The Gap Band, Jimmy Smith, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Gerald Wilson, Kenny Burrell, Mariah Carey, and many others, as well as a 20-year association with jazz and blues legend Ray Charles. Louis continues to tour and perform with Kool & The Gang, the CvTB, and others. Louis' sound track credits include work on such films as “The Nutty Professor,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Coneheads” and others, as well as television shows including “Night Court,” “Full House,” “Touched by an Angel,” and “Seinfeld.” Louis taught for seven years at the U.S.C. Thornton School of Music and for 12 years with the Los Angeles Jazz Society Jazz in Schools program.
Duane 'Been Jammin' Benjamin – Trombone
Duane Benjamin is a multi-facetted musician who plays trombone, and electric bass. Ben-jamin’, as he is affectionately known in the music industry is also an accomplished composer, ochestrater, music and vocal arranger. As a trombonist, Ben-jamin’ has performs with industry legends. Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Gladys Knight, are some of the Motown Legends Ben-jamin’ has performed for. Ben-jamin’ has also performed and recorded with some of the current artists of today such as Kirk Franklin, Envogue, Vanessa Williams, and Jamiraqua just to name few.
Ben-jamin’s orchestration skills have been influenced by many, but he gives most of the credit to Motown arranger Gil Askey (Music Director for Diana Ross and partly responsible for the Motown Sound), Grammy award winning R&B arranger Benjamin Wright (Composer of the hit song “Find 100 Ways” and String and horn arranger for Outkast to name a few), Music Arranger for 'Amercian Idol', and Famed jazz composer John Clayton (Co-leader of the famous “Clayton Hamilton Big Band Orchestra”). Ben-jamin’s musical composition for the short film “The Negro Entertainer” won an NAACP award for best musical score for a short film.
Some of Ben-jamin’s other music credits include; Musical Director and Composer for the off Broadway musical “Madame Lilly” starring Gladys Knight, performing on the “Tonight Show” and the “BET Gospel Fest” with Grammy winning Gospel artist Kirk Franklin, performing the duties of music supervisor” West Coast Music” (a Special Event Corporation), Musical Director and arranger for the “Durell Coleman Band” and Trombonist/Composer and member of the Bayou Brass Band.
Ben-jamin studied music at Cal State University Long Beach, and has been performing in the music business for over twenty-five years..
Adam Schroeder - Bari Sax
Adam Schroeder has established his influence as a major voice & force in the global jazz community. Voted a “Rising Star” on the Baritone Saxophone in Down Beat Magazine’s 59th Annual Critic’s Poll, Adam has recently been recognized as well in Down Beat Magazine’s 76th & 79th Annual Reader’s Poll & also the 2014 JazzEd Magazine Readers Poll. Performance highlights include contributions to many Grammy winning & nominated albums; working on NBC’s “The Voice,” “X-Factor,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” & “The Ellen DeGeneres Show;” FOX’s “American Idol;” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Ray Charles Orchestra, Michael Buble, the Bob Mintzer Big Band, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra & with Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band amongst others.
Charlie Peterson - Trumpet
Charlie's trumpet mastery gives the CvTB horn section the glass that blends it all together. Smokin' lead trumpet playing, and big fat solos, Charlie brings it to every show. His touring and recording credits include Don Henley, Barry Manilow, Brian Setzer. Johnny Halliday, Paul Anka, Buddy Rich, and Woody Herman. The dude plays a mean sax too! 'nuff said...
Billy Pulliam - Bass, Vocals
Every band needs that solid feel of a rumble that gets the crowd on their feet, and Billy delivers the punch in the tightness that is the CvT Band rhythm section. Billy also writes some of the CvTB original music. Billy's touring and recording credits include a long history with Rhino Records as a staff musician, as well as touring with Dick Dale, Eric Sardinas, and others.
Greg Nelson - Guitar, Vocals
Greg is a mainstay in the local Orange County music scene, and a veteran of many touring jazz and rock acts. Greg joined forces with the Claude von Trotha Band rhythm section in 2015. Greg's smooth vocals and tight guitar work is a perfect fit for the CvTB, and add the polish to the rhythm section.
Thomas Pacho - Keyboards, Vocals
Thomas is the keyboard player for the CvTB, and covers background vocals as well. Whether the song calls for piano, clavinet, strings, a synth sound, whatever, we got it handled with Thomas. He especially shines on the organ parts that are such an important part of the CvT Band's unique sound. Thomas in a select group of true Hammond B-3 artists, as well as an enthusiast of vintage, programmable synthesizers.